Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
In an evil twist of fate, the weather conspired to be so awful that even I prepared to bike to work with reluctance. The temperature, in the 80s earlier this week, dropped to 45°, accompanied by a steady, soaking, and utterly dismal rain. Of course I rode as usual, but knew nobody else would imagine biking to work on such a day — even my dear devoted husband, with whom I broached the idea weeks ago — knuckled under and drove as usual. My mood all day has felt as dismal as the weather.
Yesterday, another cool, overcast that reminded me of Seattle, I did have a highly rewarding biking experience. About a mile from the Southborough train station on my way home, I encountered a traffic jam. You have to understand that Route 85, the road I travel every day, is a one-lane-each-way little back-roads highway. No huge shoulders, and certainly not two lanes for traffic. A traffic jam on such a road means that my lane of traffic has stopped dead, which presents me with a conundrum: Pass dangerously on the right (going through dozens of cars’ blind spots), or join the line of traffic and stand still for goodness knows how long.
I chose to ride on the extremely narrow shoulder — at times even in the dirt on the side of the road — to pass the traffic. And a good thing I did: although I rode slower than usual, taking extreme care as I passed this huge line of cars, I still made good time. At points I got up to a steady 19 mph, still a little slower than I usually would ride on that nice flat stretch, but boy did I pass a lot of cars. The line just kept going, stretching on and on for miles as I rode along. Finally, two miles from home, the traffic jam vanished, as heavy traffic is wont to do. I had ridden by four miles of stopped traffic, and every minute of it I wanted to smile, wave, and say “Don’t you wish you were me?” Cars usually expect to pass me momentarily if I do go by them, but this traffic was so long and heavy that I passed hundreds of cars that never saw me again. What a great feeling.
Quite a feel-good week, bike-wise: First I passed two other bicyclists, and then I got to reaffirm why I don’t drive a car. If only the weather had cooperated and somebody — even just one other person — had biked to work today.